Dahae
Daae
People
Confederaţia.Dahae.jpg
Locationpresent-day west and northwest Turkmenistan, far southwest Kazakhstan and far west Uzbekistan (most of the Ustyurt Plateau)
BranchesParni, Xanthii and Pissuri

The Dahae, also known as the Daae, Dahas or Dahaeans (Old Persian: 𐎭𐏃𐎠 Dahā; Ancient Greek: Δάοι Dáoi, Δάαι Dáai, Δαι Dai, Δάσαι Dasai; Latin: Dahae; Chinese: 大益 Dayi;[1] Persian: داه‍ان Dāhān) were an ancient Eastern Iranian nomadic tribal confederation, who inhabited the steppes of Central Asia.[2]

Identification

The Dahae may have been the Dāha- (𐬛𐬁𐬵𐬀) or Dåŋha- (𐬛𐬂𐬢𐬵𐬀) people mentioned in the Yašts as one of the five peoples following the Zoroastrian religion, along with the Aⁱriia- (𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬌𐬀), Tūⁱriia- (𐬙𐬏𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬌𐬀), Saⁱrima- (𐬯𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬨𐬀), and Sāinu- (𐬯𐬁𐬌𐬥𐬎), although this identification is uncertain.[3]

The Iranologist János Harmatta has identified the Massagetae as being the same as the people named Sakā tigraxaudā ("Saka who wear pointed hats") by the Persians, and with the Dahā. Harmatta's identification is based on the mention of the Sakā tigraxaudā as living between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, where Arrian also located the Massagetae and the Dahae.[4] The scholars A. Abetekov and H. Yusupov have also suggested that the Dahā were a constituent tribe of the Massagetae.[5]

The scholar Y. A. Zadneprovskiy has instead suggested that the Dahae were descendants of the Massagetae.[6]

The scholar Marek Jan Olbrycht, who has also identified the Massagetae with the Sakā tigraxaudā,[7] however considers the Dahā as being a separate group from the Saka to which the Massagetae/Sakā tigraxaudā belonged.[8]

Location

The Dahae initially lived in the north-eastern part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, in the arid steppes of the Karakum Desert near Margiana, alongside the Saka groups and the Sogdians and Chorasmians,[3] and immediately to the north of Hyrcania.[9]

During late 4th and early 3rd centuries BCE, the Dahae, and especially their constituent tribe of the Parni, had settled along the southern and southwestern fringes of the Karakum desert, and by the mid-3rd century BCE they had moved west and had settled along the southeastern shores of the Caspian Sea, in the lands to the north of Hyrcania. Two other Dahae tribes, the Xanthioi and the Pissouroi, lived further east till the regions to the north of Areia.[3]

Name

The name of the Dahae, attested in the Old Persian form Dahā, is derived from a Saka language name meaning "man," based on the common practice among various peoples of calling themselves "man" in their own languages. This term is attested in the Khotanese form daha.[3] The Dahae were a nomadic people, and no known sedentary settlement can be attributed to them.[10]

The scholar David Gordon White has instead suggested that the name of the Dahae meant "Stranglers," and was derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dhau, from which he also derived the name of the Dacians.[11]

History

A splinter Dahā group appears to have migrated at an early date across the Iranian plateau, where they had joined the Persian people who lived in its southwestern part, with the Greek historian Herodotus later referring to them as one of the nomadic Persian tribes, along with the Mardians, Dropicans, and Sagartians.[3]

The Dahā were in control of the traffic between Chorasmia in the north and Parthia and Hyrcania in the south.[3]

According to the Babylonian historian Berossus, the founder of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus, died fighting against the Dahae.[12] According to the Iranologist Muhammad Dandamayev, Berossus identified the Dahae rather than the Massagetae as Cyrus's killers because they had replaced the Massagetae as the most famous nomadic tribe of Central Asia long before Berossus's time,[13][12] although some scholars identified the Dahae as being identical with the Massagetae or as one of their sub-groups.[4][5][6]

The oldest certain recorded mention of the Dahā is in the Daiva Inscription of the Achaemenid king Xerxes I along with the Sakā Haumavargā and the Sakā tigraxaudā.[3]

The Dahā fought within the left wing of the Achaemenid army along with the Bactrians and the Saka against Alexander the Great at Gaugamela in 331 BCE.[3]

The Dahae may have invaded Margiana and Areia around 300 BCE, and during this invasion they destroyed the towns of Alexandreia and Heracleia located in these respective two countries.[3]

During late 4th and early 3rd centuries BCE, the Dahae, and especially their constituent tribe of the Parni, had settled along the southern and southwestern fringes of the Karakum desert, and by the mid-3rd century BCE they had moved west and had settled along the southeastern shores of the Caspian Sea, in the lands to the north of Hyrcania. Two other Dahae tribes, the Xanthioi and the Pissouroi, lived further east till the regions to the north of Areia.[3]

During the middle of the 3rd century itself, the Parni had moved into Hyrcania, where they lived along the Ochus river. Their leader, Arsaces, would found the Parthian Empire.[3]

During the 2nd century BCE, both the Dahae (大益 Dayi) who still lived in the steppes and the Parthian Empire (安息 Anxi), as well as the Chorasmians (驩潛 Huanqian), and Sogdians (蘇薤 Suxie) sent embassies to the Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty which was ruling China.[1]

Legacy

The lands to the north of Hyrcania where the Dahae had settled in the 3rd century BCE became known as Dehestān (دَهستان) and Dahistān (داهستان) after them.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Yu, Taishan (2004). "A History of the Relationship Between the Western & Eastern Han, Wei, Jin, Northern & Southern Dynasties and the Western Regions" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers. 131: 19. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  2. ^ Daryaee, Touraj (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-199-73215-9. Our knowledge of the making of the Parthian state and of its chronology is full of gaps. We know that it was started by the nomadic tribe of Parni (or Aparni), belonging to the Dahae group of Iranian peoples.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Vogelsang 1993.
  4. ^ a b Harmatta, János (1999). "Alexander the Great in Central Asia". Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 39: 129–136. doi:10.1556/aant.39.1999.1-4.11. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Abetekov, A.; Yusupov, H. (1994). "Ancient Iranian Nomads in Western Central Asia". In Dani, Ahmad Hasan; Harmatta, János; Puri, Baij Nath; Etemadi, G. F.; Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (eds.). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Paris, France: UNESCO. pp. 24–34. ISBN 978-9-231-02846-5.
  6. ^ a b Zadneprovskiy, Y. A. (1994). "The Nomads of Northern Central Asia After the Invansion of Alexander". In Dani, Ahmad Hasan; Harmatta, János; Puri, Baij Nath; Etemadi, G. F.; Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (eds.). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Paris, France: UNESCO. pp. 448–463. ISBN 978-9-231-02846-5. The middle of the third century b.c. saw the rise to power of a group of tribes consisting of the Parni (Aparni) and the Dahae, descendants of the Massagetae of the Aral Sea region.
  7. ^ Olbrycht, Marek Jan (2000). "Remarks on the Presence of Iranian Peoples in Europe and Their Asiatic Relations". Collectanea Celto-Asiatica Cracoviensia. Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka. pp. 101–104. ISBN 978-8-371-88337-8.
  8. ^ Olbrycht, Marek Jan (2021). Early Arsakid Parthia (ca. 250-165 B.C.): At the Crossroads of Iranian, Hellenistic, and Central Asian History. Leiden, Netherlands ; Boston, United States: Brill. p. 22. ISBN 978-9-004-46076-8. Apparently the Dahai represented an entity not identical with the other better known groups of the Sakai, i.e. the Sakai (Sakā) Tigrakhaudā (Massagetai, roaming in Turkmenistan), and Sakai (Sakā) Haumavargā (in Transoxania and beyond the Syr Daryā).
  9. ^ Francfort, Henri-Paul (1988). "Central Asia and Eastern Iran". In Boardman, John; Hammond, N. G. L.; Lewis, D. M.; Ostwald, M. (eds.). The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. 4. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-521-22804-6. The Dahas of Xerxes' 'Daiva' inscription (XPh) are perhaps to be situated to the north of Hyrcania where the Dahas mentioned by more recent writers are later to be found
  10. ^ Bivar, A. D. H. (1983). "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids". The Cambridge History of Iran. Vol. 3.1. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-521-20092-9.
  11. ^ White, David Gordon (1991). Myths of the Dog-Man. University of Chicago Press. p. 239.
  12. ^ a b Dandamaev, M. A. (1989). A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire. Leiden, Netherlands ; New York City, United States: Brill. p. 67. ISBN 978-9-004-09172-6.
  13. ^ Dandamayev 1994.

Sources

  • Vogelsang, Willem (1993). "DAHAE". Encyclopædia Iranica.